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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Free Pattern/Tutorial: iPod/Mp3 Player Carrying Case

My hubby's electronic gadgets...
My other half has this set of electronic gadgets that he carries around, to provide music during his workday. It's just a little mp3 player with a requisite charging cord, but since he's not an earphone type of guy, he also has this speaker with its own cord. The speaker originally came with a snug fitting drawstring bag, but it doesn't hold much else. Lately he's been carrying everything in a ziplock, which doesn't provide protection nor is it an elegant solution, all in all. So I told him that I would make him something and kill two birds with one stone: he would end up with a functional carrying case and I would have material for a new post on my blog.

So here is what I created, using stuff that I had on hand. (I'll later discuss how to make it more elegant — incorporating some feedback from hubby — but then it will also cost extra to make.)

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Just a little more elegant solution than a ziplock bag...
It opens up like thus:

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Interior of my iPod/mp3 player & speaker carrying case...
It's a ludicrously simple sewing job, requiring mainly the ability to sew straight (actually very important in this project), although there are a couple of (optional) curved sections as you can see. Depending on what you want to carry (curling/flat iron? eReader? battery charger?) you can easily adjust the size to what you need. This one that I made to fit my items measures 12.5" long x 4.75" wide when open, with a half inch gap in the middle between the pockets.

Here's what you'll need for this one:
  • a couple of pieces of coordinating fabric (mine were 25.75" x 5.25" each)
  • one or two pieces of fusible interfacing (I used Decor Bond, 21.5" x 4")
  • one or two pieces of fusible fleece (21.5" x 4") or better yet, quilt batting (cut to the same size as your main fabric)
  • four hair elastics
  • a large button
  • matching and contrasting thread
Whatever size you choose to make, I would recommend cutting the interfacing pieces sufficiently smaller as I have indicated in my measurements so that even if you don't fuse it precisely straight (and yes, it's challenging to do so, particularly with long narrow lengths), it will still stay out of your seam allowances.

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I only interfaced the interior fabric, but you are, of course, free to interface both to provide extra protection for your contents. Whether or not you need to do both may depend on what type of fabric you use. (For those who have been following along, you will probably recognize the brown faux suede that was a skirt of mine in a previous life from the Wave Purse Organizer project; the blue interior fabric is also a faux suede, but it used to be a drapery panel.)

Cut Fabric and Apply Interfacing

Cut your fabric, fuse on the interfacing and then fuse the fleece on top of the interfacing. Pin the two pieces of fabric together, wrong sides out.

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Apply interfacing and pin with right sides together...

Note: If you are using a single piece of quilt batting, pin it to the wrong side of the lining piece.

Sew it Up

Sew all the way around, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Be sure to leave a suitable turning gap (3" will do) along one of the long edges. Then take a glass or a bowl (whichever you use will depend on the width of your project) and trace a curved edge at both ends.

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Trace a curved edge at both ends...

Sew along the curved line and then carefully cut the excess fabric away, leaving about 1/4". Trim your corners while you're at it. (If you use quilt batting, clip it as close to your stitching line as possible.)

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Trim excess fabric away...

Turn right side out and press well, paying particular attention to the turning gap.

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Remember to use a pressing cloth if necessary!

Topstitch the two curved edges with a contrasting thread.

Create the Pockets

The next step is basically to fold and sew, but you also need to figure out where to install the elastic closures along the sides of the bottom pocket (i.e., the pocket that will be on the bottom of the case when it's folded shut).

Fold the two ends inwards to create the desired size of pockets that you need (mine were 5.5" and 6.5") and pin around the edges. Then fold the case shut to determine the placement of your elastic closures.

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Determine proper placement for your elastic closures...
For the width of this case, I needed to use two hair elastics looped together (I don't know how else to describe this, but the result looks like a square knot); if your case is narrower, you may be able to get away with just one. Slip one end of the elastic contraption between your pinned outside edges on opposite sides of the bottom pocket. Use a ruler to help you stay symmetrical. Once you have determined the location for the elastic, pin it in place.

Using thread that matches your exterior fabric, sew a 1/4" seam allowance around the sides of both pockets. Be sure to catch the elastic in your stitching! (Whether it was my fabric or my ancient sewing machine, I had a lot of trouble stitching the "tips" at the end of the curves and in the corners.)

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Finish it Up

Finish by sewing (on top of your existing stitching) around the entire perimeter of the case with the contrasting thread that you used to topstitch around the curves. If you follow this "two thread approach", you will end up with stitches that are much better looking than what I ended up with.

iPod/Mp3 Player & Speaker Carrying Case by eSheep Designs
Add a button and you're done...

All you have to do now is to sew on a button at the appropriate spot to anchor your elastics.

So here's the word from my hubby: he likes it and appreciates my handiwork. The fastening part with the elastics and button he's not so much a fan of, because he says, "Most guys, when they're in a hurry, they'll probably undo the wrong one [loop] and then they get this mess" — at which point, he showed me a semi-knotted loop around the button. So there you have it.

I chose to make this the simplest way that I could with what I had around the house. The closure could certainly have been made with tabs made out of fabric and secured with Velcro or with elasticized fabric tabs and a clip or a buckle, but that's for someone else to try.

Maybe you. ;-)

If you want to have a copy of this tutorial in PDF format,
you can download it for free here.

Terms of Use

If you are "sew" inclined, feel free to make and sell as many of these iPod/Mp3 carrying cases as you care to; I only ask that you credit me and this blog by attaching the following card to the item.

eSheep Designs swing tag


  1. Hi, I have just made one for my grand daughter to fit her ipod. Brilliant pattern and very easy to follow tutorial. Thank you. I used velcro to fasten.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It's the best feedback in the world for me to know that something that I've put out there is fulfilling a purpose for someone!


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